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Home arrow Historic Preservation Programs & Officers arrow Federal arrow FEMA arrow FEMA Model Statewide Programmatic Agreement
Federal Emergency Management Agency
Model Statewide Programmatic Agreement

The Council and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) have developed an innovative model Programmatic Agreement (PA) that has enabled FEMA to promote a coordinated and expedited historic preservation review process while administering its Public Assistance, Flood Mitigation Assistance, and Hazard Mitigation Grant programs. The PA also serves as an integral part of FEMA's historic preservation program.

The purpose of the model PA is to meet State-specific needs, including State preservation legislation and programs. The agreement includes provisions to exclude specific routine activities from Section 106 review and streamline project evaluation during all phases of emergency response. FEMA recognizes the key role of the State Historic Preservation Officer (SHPO), and has developed the Programmatic Agreement to ensure a solid partnership between the Council, FEMA, SHPO, and State Emergency Management Agencies. The coordinated effort ensures an efficient review process and promotes historic preservation awareness in the communities facing disaster.

Early coordination at the State and Federal level facilitates the exchange of important information, including: points of contact and interested parties; the list of counties designated within the disaster declaration; historic properties on or eligible for the National Register in the disaster area; and the identification and approval of mitigation initiatives to reduce the future impacts of disaster.

The PA also recognizes FEMA's responsibility to perform emergency actions in response to an immediate threat to human life or property and specifically, to permit FEMA to authorize certain activities without review by the SHPO or the Council. The agreement establishes streamlined procedures for the review of non-emergency stabilization, demolition, and repair activities, and FEMA may delegate certain historic preservation responsibilities. In recognition of the SHPO's expertise and FEMA's commitment to consider historic preservation concerns, the agreement waives Council reviews on routine projects, whether or not they fall within the immediate response period.

Finally, the PA contains administrative provisions that allow FEMA to consider the effects of amending an approved scope of work; coordinate with other Federal agencies to complete the Section 106 review; and assess the effects of an undertaking on newly discovered historic properties. FEMA has also addressed its responsibility to consider public opinion through the processes included in the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and applicable State legislation; develop documentation that concurrently satisfies FEMA's Section 106 and NEPA responsibilities; strongly discourage applicants from demolishing historic properties with the intent of avoiding the requirements of the National Historic Preservation Act; and report on the agreement's implementation to the SHPO and Council.

FEMA strongly encourages States to sign Programmatic Agreements prior to a declared disaster. FEMA and the Council are available to assist any State in adapting the model agreement to its needs. If your State is interested in negotiating a four-year agreement, please contact FEMA's Federal Preservation Officer, or Council staff member Jaime Loichinger.

Updated September 21, 2010

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